Mark Rine no longer runs into burning buildings or performs emergency medical procedures.
Instead, the Columbus firefighter spends his days standing in front of other firefighters and warning them about a danger he knew nothing about until Sept. 11, 2012. That was the day a doctor told him he had melanoma.
He had asked a dermatologist to look at a spot on his back. The doctor said it was four other spots that concerned him.
Two weeks later, Rine underwent his first surgery. Another followed. But by that point, the cancer had spread, and he was told it could not be stopped.
“Let my example be your reason for change,” Rine, 33, of Granville said last week while addressing a dozen Violet Township firefighters.
Rine used to work at Station 8 on the Near East Side. Because of the cancer, he can no longer do the job. He tried going back to the station after surgery and while on chemotherapy, but the work aggravated the tumor at the base of his spine, which affected his mobility.
“Out of all the things that still to this day get me emotional to talk about, that would draw tears, it’s not being at Station 8 doing my job. I miss it,” he said.